Frost Nixon

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Peter Morgan
  • Genres: Drama, History
  • Actors: Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Andy Milder

A series of news reports documents the role of Richard Nixon (Langella) in the bugging of members of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex up until news that the House of Representatives is likely to vote to impeach Nixon. The film then cuts to a behind the scenes view of Nixon making his resignation speech. Nixon is shown leaving the White House in a helicopter and flying away.

Meanwhile David Frost (Sheen) is finishing an episode of his talk show Frost Over Australia, until he comes off set to see Nixon entering the helicopter on a television. He asks a producer to ascertain the worldwide viewing figures for the event.

A few weeks later in the London Weekend Television (LWT) central office, Frost discusses with his producer and friend, John Birt (Matthew Macfadyen), the possibility of an interview. When Frost mentions Nixon as the subject, Birt doubts the likelihood that Nixon would be willing to talk to Frost. Frost then tells Birt that 400 million people watched President Nixon’s resignation on live TV.

Nixon is shown recovering from illness in La Casa Pacifica, in San Clemente, California, discussing his memoirs with literary agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar (Toby Jones), who tells the former president of a request by Frost to conduct an interview. Lazar mentions that CBS was offering $350,000 to Frost’s $500,000. In a series of cutaway interviews, Lazar explains how he managed to talk Frost up to $600,000.

Shortly before Frost returns to the UK, he and Caroline visit Nixon in his villa and Frost thanks him for the interviews. Nixon questions Frost if they really had a discussion on the phone, and asks what they discussed. Frost replies “cheeseburgers,” and bids goodbye to Nixon and leaves. The closing titles describe Frost’s future successes and Nixon’s continued controversy and absence from political activity until his death in 1994.

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